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7 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Guys, just so we're prepared, lockdown is probably coming, in the next two weeks if we're on Italy's trajectory, and the rules are different from where we are now. Deliveries probably stop, for one.

 

stayinghome_edit.png

 

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/3/19/21177527/coronavirus-guide-shelter-at-home-preparedness

 

They forgot one very important thing for those of use who rely on a car to get us to important places: Drive your car once or twice per week.

 

You really do not want to have an emergency a month from now and discover that a complete lack of driving has drained your car battery, and now you and your emergency situation are trapped in your home.

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On topic of PPE: Unless you are told to wear a mask by a medical professional, don't. PPE shortages are leading to illness and death among medical professionals and first responders. 

 

On topic of sanitation: soap and water >>> sanitizer. It's more effective and less hard on your skin. If you can't access soap and water, sanitizer is better than nothing. Make sure it has >60% alcohol by volume. 

 

On topic of food sanitation: don't sanitize food or food packaging with household bleach without first diluting it to a food safe concentration (200ppm) according to best practices. If not properly diluted, bleach can transfer to food in high enough concentration to poison you. Other alternatives include: Using food safe sanitizers, non-toxic soap and water for packaging, or if it's unwrapped produce, cook it. Cooking things effectively destroys RNA viruses generally, including coronavirus. 

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This may have already been said, but just to reiterate, please think of your older neighbors and don't be an idiot like me and assume that their kids or relatives or whatever that have been around for years are still coming around during this pandemic. I'll stop the rant there. If you are able, please check in with the older folks around you and let them know you can be on the lookout for supplies for them when you are picking up the normal supplies.

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I have revised my opinion on masks in light of new evidence: I have seen convincing data from the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea that home made cloth reusable masks appear to be slightly better than no masks even with a mask naive public because they decrease spread of droplets from the contagious-yet-asymptomatic subset of Covid-19 spreaders & this presumably outweighs the risk of self infection from poor face hygiene and mask technique.  Therefore if you want to wear a homemade mask it might help on average (but please don't act like it's protecting you because false sense of security is a real risk with poor PPE technique! Handwashing & face hygiene is still really important, also you should wash the mask between uses). 

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Thanks @chemgeek, that is good to know. This is definitely something that can help minimize a bad habit I am guilty of: while I don't breathe through my mouth my lips tend to dry out, and I find myself licking them. Oops! This dawned on me toward the beginning of March and I adjusted my habit the best I could. After being in a public area (grocery store only, I'm not keen on showing up in a "Covidiot of the Day" video!) and I get back to the vehicle, I sanitize and spray some sanitizer on my lips.  😲

 

Yeah yeah, I know... feel free to face-palm! Hey, in my defense <dumb guy logic> maybe the sanitizer is leaching into my body and fighting off any virus that does make it in? That logic works as well as how I continually drive my rage deep down inside at work and let it build in the hopes that someday it manifests as telekinetic ability and then by golly it's going to be a CARRIE AT THE PROM kind of day!!! Or it will manifest as a heart attack...either/or... keep watching the news! </dumb guy logic>

 

Does it help? Hopefully. Does it burn? AND THEM SOME! When I get home I put on lip balm. So thanks Chemgeek, the mask can certainly help!

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Suggestion as a dry lip person: stick a stick of lip balm in your coat pocket. Apply it as you go out and as you get in, also whenever you feel like licking your lips. It helps!

 

Now if you're a lip-gnawer like me I've got nothing for that... 

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1 hour ago, chemgeek said:

Suggestion as a dry lip person: stick a stick of lip balm in your coat pocket. Apply it as you go out and as you get in, also whenever you feel like licking your lips. It helps!

 

Now if you're a lip-gnawer like me I've got nothing for that... 

Do not do this in the summer in a warmer climate.

Lip balm melts.

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1 hour ago, chemgeek said:

Also don't stick it in your pants pocket and then forget it and put it through the wash unless you like cleaning lip balm out of a dryer. 

And definitely don't do it with colored lip balm. Especially if your son's favorite shirt is in the  laundry too.

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18 hours ago, chemgeek said:

I have revised my opinion on masks in light of new evidence: I have seen convincing data from the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea that home made cloth reusable masks appear to be slightly better than no masks even with a mask naive public because they decrease spread of droplets from the contagious-yet-asymptomatic subset of Covid-19 spreaders & this presumably outweighs the risk of self infection from poor face hygiene and mask technique.  Therefore if you want to wear a homemade mask it might help on average (but please don't act like it's protecting you because false sense of security is a real risk with poor PPE technique! Handwashing & face hygiene is still really important, also you should wash the mask between uses). 

 

Additional support for wearing masks - this is from a doctor who works in the Pulmonary Care wing of a NYC hospital.

 

He says that aerosols are a low risk unless you are in a room with someone who is already sick and coughing. The major risk is from touching something with your hands, then touching your face.

 

Wearing a mask reminds you not to touch your nose and mouth.

 

The mask is not there to prevent you from breathing virus particles. Homemade masks are not very effective for actually filtering the air. A homemade mask does a great job of preventing you from scratching your nose. It reminds you to wash your hands before you take it off. It doesn't prevent you from rubbing your eyes - you still need to remember to wash your hands before touching your eyes.

 

To echo what @chemgeek said, hand washing is still the critical step. Your main route of exposure is through touching something that a contagious person touched, then touching your face. The doctor recommended carrying hand sanitizer and using it after every time you touch a public surface.

  • you go out the door of your apartment building - sanitize your hands
  • you go into the grocery store - get a cart, wipe down the handle of the cart and your hands
  • you leave the grocery store heading home - sanitize your hands and the handles of your grocery bags
  • you open the door of your apartment building - sanitize your hands
  • you open the door to your apartment - set down your groceries, get the wipes or spray bottle of 10% bleach to wipe down everything, then go wash your hands.

You get the picture. Treat all surfaces you have not cleaned yourself as covered in virus particles. Touch them and then kill them

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37 minutes ago, Mistr said:

The doctor recommended carrying hand sanitizer and using it after every time you touch a public surface.

 

This is useful to know, but if I sanitised everything on this list I'd run out of sanitiser pretty quickly. I try to just not touch my face when I'm out, then wash my hands when I get home. Plus I wipe down handles occasionally. Maybe I should do that everyday. And should we wipe down our groceries?

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2 hours ago, Harriet said:

This is useful to know, but if I sanitised everything on this list I'd run out of sanitiser pretty quickly. I try to just not touch my face when I'm out, then wash my hands when I get home. Plus I wipe down handles occasionally. Maybe I should do that everyday. And should we wipe down our groceries?

 

First off, I'd like to echo everything @Mistr said, and say a thank you for posting such a detailed write-up of what we all should be doing right now.

 

This is the protocol we follow for groceries and other deliveries in our home:

  • Everything that comes into the house comes through the laundry room that is between the garage and the rest of the house. 
  • Put down every object that came into the house, on the floor or on the counter
  • WASH HANDS before touching anything else, including the any fur-covered Sidekicks who want to reconnect after their human's long absence. The laundry room has a large utility sink, that has had hand soap and a towel next to it since the pandemic came to the US. (After hand washing, reassure the dog that she is still loved despite the delayed greeting, then rewash hands.)
  • Disinfect the outside of every object that came into the house with you, and relocate disinfected objects to the kitchen counter (without letting them touch anything in the laundry room) as you go.
  • After all the objects are disinfected and in the kitchen, disinfect the laundry room counter, door knobs, light switches, including the faucet, and the doorknobs and switches in the garage, and anything else touched by human hands.
  • Wash hands again
  • After putting away the groceries or whatever the objects are, disinfect the kitchen counter and all handles that were touched during this process.
  • Wash hands one more time.

 

Overkill? Maybe. But we both have allergies, and one of us has asthma. I'd much rather be too careful and not need to be, than the opposite right now. We live in a state that does not believe that COVID-19 is actually dangerous, since it's "just a serious case of the flu" and that means it's a matter of time before our hospitals collapse. 

 

I invested in a gallon jug of disinfecting bleach before all the hoarding started, and we have strong antibacterial wipes that can kill cold virus and flu virus. We should probably wipe all doorknobs more often than we do, now that I think about it...

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39 minutes ago, Scalyfreak said:

I invested in a gallon jug of disinfecting bleach before all the hoarding started, and we have strong antibacterial wipes that can kill cold virus and flu virus. We should probably wipe all doorknobs more often than we do, now that I think about it...


Ah, bleach. I wonder if I could use laundry bleach? Maybe dilute with water then use clothes to wipe things down? 

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47 minutes ago, Harriet said:


Ah, bleach. I wonder if I could use laundry bleach? Maybe dilute with water then use clothes to wipe things down? 

 

The CDC says you can:

 

    •  
    Quote

     

      •  diluted household bleach solutions (at least 1000ppm sodium hypochlorite) can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application, ensuring a contact time of at least 1 minute, and allowing proper ventilation during and after application. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
    • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
      • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
      • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

     

 

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cleaning-disinfection.html

 

ETA: If you mix bleach with ammonia or other cleansers it turns into toxic gas. So do not ever do that, for obvious reasons.

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1 hour ago, Scalyfreak said:

The CDC says you can:

 

Thank you. Now I'm off to find out what a quart is. Or a gallon. Oh. They're not-quite-a-liter and somewhere between 3.7 and 3.8 litres, respectively. How... interesting. 

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No, a quart is four cups. Like a quarter is a fourth of an hour, a quart holds four cups' worth of liquid. And four quarts make a gallon, because one quarter is a quarter of a gallon, so a gallon is 16 cups.

 

I'm going to take a moment to be smug that despite growing up with a metric system that makes infinitely more sense, I could still do that from memory. Once I started associating the weird liquid measurements with coins, it made a lot more sense. :) 

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Just now, chemgeek said:

Quart - 2 cups No Pint = 2 cups  Quart = 4 cups

 

Gallon = I think about 16 cups?

 

1 gallon = 4 quarts = 16 cups = 3.78 liter

 

The solutions in Scalyfreak's post come out to a 2% bleach solution. That means using any measuring system you like, mix 2 parts bleach with 98 parts water.

 

Yes, bleach = laundry bleach (the liquid kind, not the powdered kind). The generic bleach under my sink is 5.25% sodium hypochlorite. Some brands might be stronger. It all works. If you have a stronger bottle of bleach, just add more water.

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3 minutes ago, Mistr said:

Yes, bleach = laundry bleach (the liquid kind, not the powdered kind). The generic bleach under my sink is 5.25% sodium hypochlorite. Some brands might be stronger. It all works. If you have a stronger bottle of bleach, just add more water.

 

My bleach is downstairs in the pantry right next to the other cleaning supplies, but I remember clearly that the label on the bottle and directions for how to make a disinfecting cleaning solution with the concentrated bleach. I can share this later after work if anyone needs it.

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Thx. Us system makes no sense to me & I always remember wrong. 

 

Note if intending to use bleach as a food or food packaging sanitizer: While bleach is recommended as a food sanitizer at 200ppm concentration, household bleach loses concentration with time. Use a fresh bottle of bleach when mixing.

 

My chemist side needs to point out: You should also know that most household grade kitchen measuring tools are not typically well calibrated. Therefore for measuring the bleach, you are better off getting a syringe or measuring the bleach by mass if you're intending to use it as a food sanitizer since most ppl don't have titration equipment to measure the concentration at home. Reason being the concentration for food safe sanitizing is pretty close to the concentration that will start causing intestinal distress and the +/- 50% variation present in household teaspoon & tablespoon measures *is* enough to put you over the safety line or under the effective window there. Dispose of the syringe if you commonly use syringes for other purposes, but if using it only for bleach it can be safely rinsed and reused until the black plastic seal starts looking worn out or the plastic starts to discolor.

 

(Aside: the note about variability in household teaspoons and tablespoons is why the CDC recommends using syringes to dispense liquid oral medicine. A pharmacist can show you how to use it.)

 

Remember to wear eye protection and gloves: household bleach is a caustic & will burn you.  Also make sure that the bleach you use for this is marked "food grade" because nowadays most household bleach has fabric protection additives and that stuff isn't something you want to eat.

 

Or just buy commercial food grade sanitizer for cleaning your food (I would recommend this if you're not comfortable with measuring things precisely) and save the bleach for non food and non food packaging things. 

 

The other thing to note (this is my former food industry worker talking) is if using a 200ppm bleach solution to sanitize, 1 whatever you are sanitizing needs to be in contact with the bleach for 1 minute. Set a timer to make sure it's in long enough. Then rinse it because you don't want your food tasting like pool water. Also note that high surface area organic material like twigs and leaves, dirt & especially topsoil quickly deactivates bleach by consuming hypochlorite so change your solution as soon as you notice dirt on the bottom of the sink.

 

 

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Another thing people can do if they want to help others: make an appointment to donate blood.

 

As a person who owes the life two of my closest relatives to blood donors, I can't emphasize enough that when you're donating blood, you're saving lives. Every time I see my sibling get to play with their kids or my nephew joke with his siblings, I am so very thankful for everything that went into saving their lives - and that includes blood donation. Emergencies, accidents, and chronic illness don't care if there's a pandemic on. 

 

In most countries blood donor clinics are still operating but facing a huge drop in supply. If you are eligible, donating blood is one way you can directly contribute to life saving efforts around the country. Please make an appointment today.

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On 4/3/2020 at 9:22 AM, Mistr said:

Wearing a mask reminds you not to touch your nose and mouth.

 

To this very important point, I have an urge to add the following things I have learned about wearing cloth masks:

  1. The purpose of wearing a cloth mask is to protect others from being infected by you, primarily when you sneeze. The mask does not protect you from being infected.
  2. The mask does not replace any other protective measure the WHO wants us to take. We still need to do all the other things (social distancing, hand washing, quarantine, etc)
  3. To put on a mask, first wash your hands thoroughly. Immediately put on the mask, preferably by touching only the ear loops and the outer edges of the mask itself.
  4. Adjust the mask so it fully covers your nose and your mouth. The lower edge of the mask should be tucked around under your chin. The upper part should be at the bridge of your nose, right below your glasses like to rest. 
  5. Just in case you puffed virus breath onto your own fingers, wash your hands again.
  6. DON'T TOUCH THE MASK WHILE YOU WEAR IT
  7. Wash your hands before removing the mask.
  8. When you remove the mask, touch only the ear loops, because the part that covered your mouth and nose has been exposed to virus breath.
  9. Put the mask where possibly virus infestation cannot spread to places or people it should not go.
  10. Wash your hands again.

Since we don't know how long this particular corona virus can survive when stuck in a piece of cloth, the CDC and WHO strongly recommend washing the cloth mask frequently. A regular clothes washing cycle is sufficient to destroy the virus.

 

 

 

 

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I should note either temperatures above 70C (so most dryers) or laundry detergents would effectively destroy a lipid-enveloped RNA virus like coronavirus. You don't need to bleach or otherwise disinfect the mask as long as you wash it. 

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